The United States will stage a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The White House announced the move in opposition to China's human rights breaches, particularly those involving the country's Uyghur community.
It was confirmed that no official delegation will be sent to the Games from the US, although its athletes will be allowed to compete.
Beijing is due to host the XXIV Olympic Winter Games from February 4-20.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the [China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, and other human rights abuses,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.
BREAKING: U.S. will not send diplomatic representatives to the 2022 Winter Olympics Games in Beijing over China’s “egregious human rights abuses,” White House press sec. Jen Psaki announces. https://t.co/vuhTGAg8mf pic.twitter.com/ZRmZG4dc1l
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 6, 2021
“US diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang – and we simply can’t do that."
Psaki added that attending athletes will have the "full support" of the Biden White House.
China's faced growing criticism as the Winter Olympics loom, over their human rights abuses in the north-west region of Xinjiang.
Human rights groups believe that more than a million Uyghurs - and other Muslim minorities - have been detained against their will.
The United States is one of a number of countries that has accused China of committing genocide in the region.
“The Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General in the summer.
“Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities face crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations that threaten to erase their religious and cultural identities.”
“It should shock the conscience of humanity that massive numbers of people have been subjected to brainwashing, torture and other degrading treatment in internment camps, while millions more live in fear amid a vast surveillance apparatus.”
China has responded to the US diplomatic boycott by promising "resolute countermeasures", adding that the Olympics shouldn't be "a stage for political shows".
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